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Kim vows full support to Russia in Ukraine, Putin boosts ties

Kim Jong

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed unwavering support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang on Wednesday. The leaders focused on enhancing economic and military cooperation, presenting a united front against the United States.

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Putin thanked Kim for his backing and announced plans for a new agreement aimed at strengthening their alliance, emphasizing joint resistance against U.S.-led “imperialist hegemony.” The visit coincided with reports of a controversial arms deal where North Korea allegedly supplies munitions to aid Russia in Ukraine, in exchange for economic aid and technology transfers that could bolster Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities.

Putin underscored that the forthcoming agreement would reinforce their enduring relationship, amid international sanctions targeting both nations for their military activities.

This historic meeting marked Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years. He acknowledged North Korea’s consistent support for Russian policies, including in the Ukrainian context.

Putin highlighted the longstanding ties between Moscow and Pyongyang, dating back to World War II when Soviet forces assisted in Korea, and Russia’s support during the Korean War.

Kim characterized current relations between Moscow and Pyongyang as stronger than ever, surpassing even the era of Soviet support. He expressed hope for further strengthening the “fiery friendship” between their nations, according to Russian state news agencies.

Kim pledged full support and solidarity to Russia in its military operations in Ukraine, citing reasons of sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity. He reiterated previous statements condemning what he perceives as U.S.-led hegemonic policies.

The nature of North Korea’s support for Russia’s actions was not specified.

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Putin also praised Russia’s role in global strategic stability and balance.

Before their discussions, Kim hosted Putin with an elaborate ceremony in Pyongyang’s main square, introducing key North Korean officials. Crowds lined the streets, welcoming Putin with chants and flags of both nations.

Accompanying Putin were high-level officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Denis Mantrurov, Defense Minister Andrei Belousov, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as confirmed by his foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov.

U.S. and South Korean officials have accused North Korea of supplying military equipment to Russia for use in Ukraine, a claim denied by both Pyongyang and Moscow, despite U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Russia, along with China, has shielded North Korea from fresh U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program, exacerbating international tensions.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Putin’s visit, characterizing it as Russia’s attempt to bolster ties with countries supporting its aggressive actions against Ukraine.

Tensions remain high on the Korean Peninsula, marked by increased weapons tests by North Korea and joint military exercises involving the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. Both Koreas have engaged in psychological warfare reminiscent of the Cold War.

The meeting underscored North Korea’s strategic alignment with Russia amid ongoing global geopolitical shifts.

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